Liangban Huanggua

Recipe 5 minPreparation Time 20 minCooking Time
Liangban Huanggua

Liangban Huanggua

5 minPreparation Time 20 min Cooking Time

About this Recipe

Making cucumber pickles for Nai Nai (my grandmother) gave me a reason to practice my roll-cutting knife skills. I remember being mesmerized by the technique when I would tippy toe to peer at the action on my mother’s cutting board. Tossing the cucumber with salt and having to wait a few minutes before dressing them with rice vinegar added to the anticipation and pleasure of eating. A delicate lace of finely ground white pepper (fermented black peppercorns) and a few drops of sesame oil balance the pickles with an earthy edge and touch of richness. I always select small cucumbers, which Nai Nai prefers, and if watermelon is in season, I go for one with a thick rind, to use in place of cucumbers.

The Benefits

Cucumbers are full of fiber and vitamins, and the addition of garlic, chile, and sesame makes this a super healthy snack or addition to any meal.


Serves 2
  • 8 to 10 oz (225 to 285 g) Japanese or Persian cucumbers (you can also use peeled watermelon rind)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar or a combination of the two
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
  • Pinch of crushed dried hot chile peppers or freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp or so toasted sesame seeds for garnish


  1. Step 1
    Cut the cleaned cucumbers into oblique chunks (cut on a diagonal and rotate the cucumber a quarter-turn after each cut) about 1-inch thick.
  2. Step 2
    Put the cucumbers in a mixing bowl with the salt. Distribute the salt as evenly as you can by tossing with your hands. Cover with a plate and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes at room temperature, or until the vegetables release water and become bendy.
  3. Step 3
    To the bowl add the vinegar, garlic, chile or pepper, and a few dashes of sesame oil. Taste and make adjustments as you wish. If not serving right away, toss periodically to re-distribute marinade and refrigerate. Best if eaten within a couple days. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over pickles when ready to serve.

Photo by Jeni Afuso

Explore Recipe Ingredients

About the author

Jessica Wang

Jessica Wang

Jessica Wang is a trained pastry chef turned full-time pickler. An advocate for local produce, she juggles her time as the founder of fermentation workshop, Picklé, and the neighborhood market concept, Gu Grocery.
View profile